Author Archives: Aimee

4 Famous African Animals That Have Made an Impact on the World

By Cristina Costea

elephants

One of the most significant reasons people go on safaris is the animals. Getting to see the majestic African beasts in their natural habitat is one of the most precious memories a person can make in their lifetime. 

Unfortunately, poaching has greatly reduced the numbers of the big five and other majestic African animals. According to numerous statistics, including the African Wildlife Foundation, if the current poaching rates are kept up, rhinos, elephants and other African wildlife may become extinct within our lifetime.

Today, we’re going to take a look at 4 famous African animals that have left their print on the world, but who have been taken from us too early.
 
4. Wozani, the Black Rhino

rhinoImage source: Express.co.uk

The black rhino is a critically endangered animal, which means that there is pretty much only a handful of them out there. Wozani was a black rhino male that wandered from the Kruger National Park in South Africa and was shot to death by poachers. They took parts of his foot, his tail and his tusk.
It is believed that Wozani strayed from the park in search of his beloved mate, Busa, that had been killed by poachers a month prior to his death. Wozani was beloved by many, and what made him endearing was his cute face that looked as if he was getting ready to plant a big, wet kiss on someone’s face. Just look at that cute face!
Did you know that in 2014, a permit to kill one of the 18 black rhinos that Namibia considered past their prime and  a threat to younger rhinos was sold for $350,000? Apparently, the money went to fund anti-poaching efforts in Namibia. A bit ironic, isn’t it?
 
3. Huberta the Hippo

hippoImage source: AtlasObscura.com 

Huberta is one of the most famous animals in the history of Africa. Her strange name comes from the fact that people thought she was a male and called her Hubert. But following her death, it was revealed that she was actually a female, thus Huberta. What made Huberta famous and loved by many was her journey. In November 1928, she decided to leave her familiar surroundings and head towards the Eastern Cape. She traveled for three years, a total of 1,000 miles (1,600 km), becoming a symbol of hope and perseverance.

Nobody really knows why she up and left, maybe it was to look for a mate or to retrace the steps of her hippo ancestors, but what people do know is that her journey inspired many. Often the tales of African animals end on a sad note, and Huberta’s story is no different. Even though she was declared a “Royal Game” which made it illegal for hunters to kill her, she was still shot to death by poachers in 1931.
Following her death, she was taxidermied in London and returned to South Africa in 1932. Her story inspired Edmund Lindop to write the 1961’s children’s book Hubert, the Traveling Hippopotamus.
 
2. Satao the Elephant

elephantImage source: Wikipedia.org

It’s hard to imagine killing a majestic elephant for its tusks, but sadly, this happens so often that it is threatening the elephant population. After having roamed Kenya for 45 years, Satao, an African elephant with tusks so big that they almost reached the ground, was killed in 2014, his tusks were taken  from him and his face was mutilated to avoid identification.
 
In 2013 alone, over 20,000 African elephants were slaughtered for their tusks. Ivory sells for several thousand dollars per pound and Satao’s were estimated to weigh around 200 pounds (45 kg).

Here is the heartbreaking statement that let the world know of Satao’s death: “It is with enormous regret that we confirm there is no doubt that Satao is dead, killed by an ivory poacher’s poisoned arrow to feed the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in far off countries. A great life lost so that someone far away can have a trinket on their mantelpiece. Rest in peace, Old Friend, you will be missed.”
 
1. Cecil the Lion 

lionImage source: KTLA.com

Cecil the lion was one of the most famous lions on the African continent. It lived in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, where he was admired and protected. Cecil was born in 2002 and on July 1st 2015, Walter Palmer, an American dentist and big-game hunter killed him with a crossbow, after having lured him out of the park. Palmer allegedly paid a whopping $50,000 and was helped by two locals to track and hunt Cecil, a Southwest African lion.

The news of the murder went viral and the outrage helped add two subspecies of lion to the endangered species list. This means that American hunters will have a much more difficult time killing those types of lions, including Cecil’s subspecies, the Southwest African lion.

Walter Palmer walked away a free man after having killed Cecil and the government of Zimbabwe even mentioned that he is welcomed back in the country but as a tourist and not a hunter.
 
About Cristina Costea
Cristina is a writer for BookAllSafaris.com. She is a passionate traveler, cat aficionado and novice writer.

Posted in guest post, wildlife | 1 Comment

12 Reasons Why Dogs Help With Depression and Anxiety

The World Health Organization declared April 7th, 2017 as World Health Day, a day focusing on mental health, but it’s also a year-long campaign which aims to educate, raise awareness and help people suffering from mental illness.

Depression, Anxiety, and other mental health issues now affect over 300 million people worldwide according to the WHO and we think that more needs to be done to educate and inform just how tough this illness can be. It’s usually also the underlying cause of many other social issues.

Those of us who have a dog in our life, knows just how important they are for keeping us fit, socializing and living life to the full.

We think that having a dog in your life can really help with coping and so does Andy and the team at Pet Gear Lab. They’ve created this infographic to highlight 12 reasons why a dog can help you cope with depression and anxiety.

This is what it looks like:

12 reasons why a dog can help you cope with depression and anxiety.

Head on over to Andy’s site to find out more about how dogs are a great asset to your life

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Being Brave for Bailey

Pet loss is a hard subject for all pet parents, but it can be especially hard for children. Being Brave for Bailey is a sweet book that helps children prepare for and deal with pet loss.

Being Brave for Bailey was written by a veterinarian, Dr. Corey Gut, for her niece, Lexie, who had an aging dog named Bailey that developed liver cancer. The book features lovely illustrations and a story that moves through the lifetime of the beloved pet. It’s written so children can easily understand, and also in a way that isn’t too heavy considering the subject matter.

You can purchase copies on the site BeingBraveforBailey.com, where you can also find a version for cat owners called Being Brave for Smokey. We also love that there is an option to buy a book for your local library. We would love to see this in libraries everywhere to help prepare kids for pet loss.

Posted in cats, dogs, gifts for pet lovers, pet stories | 2 Comments

Best Friends Animal Society Opens First Pet Adoption Center in New York

We are so excited to be “spreading the news”!! Best Friends Animal Society Opens First Pet Adoption Center in New York!

The SoHo Center will Raise Awareness for the Nearly 5,500 Dogs and Cats Killed Every Day in U.S. Shelters. The State-of-the-Art Space is Part of Best Friends Effort to Make the Country No-Kill by 2025.

NEW YORK, NY — Best Friends Animal Society has opened its first Pet Adoption Center in New York located at 307 W. Broadway in SoHo.

The national lifesaving concept space in New York City is designed to raise awareness for the nearly 5,500 dogs and cats killed every day in U.S. shelters and to engage people in the work Best Friends is doing to end the killing. The space is part of Best Friends effort to make the country no-kill* by 2025.

“Our new state-of-the-art Center in the heart of Manhattan will demonstrate to locals and visitors alike the problems and solutions facing our country’s homeless pet population,” said Gregory Castle, ceo and Co-Founder of Best Friends Animal Society. “We’ve planted a stake in the ground to take this country no-kill by 2025, but we can’t do it alone. Our hope is that visitors leave the Center with a new best friend and feeling inspired and equipped with the knowledge needed to achieve our mission.”

The Best Friends Pet Adoption Center will inspire and educate visitors from around the country via adoptable dogs and cats housed in a playful, gallery-style setting designed to help tell a story about the problems and solutions facing our country’s homeless pet population. It will also feature a round-the-clock kitten nursery to bottle-feed the most vulnerable homeless pet population. Similar to a real nursery, the neonatal unit has strict protocols to ensure the health of kittens who have been separated from their mothers before they are old enough to survive without them. At any given time up to 30 animals will be housed in the Center.

This no-kill concept space introduces a “cause cooperative” model, in which the center will showcase adoptable dogs and cats from nine local and regional nonprofit organizations, and the New York City-run shelter, Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC). Cooperation and coalition building is a core component for a community to achieve no-kill, and Best Friends is using the new center as a demonstration of collective impact.

Best Friends is launching the New York center in coordination with a new national initiative to lead the country to no-kill by the year 2025, which means that dogs and cats will no longer die in U.S. shelters due to an inability to find them homes. The center will serve as a physical demonstration of the huge progress and momentum underway to end the killing of dogs and cats in our nation’s shelters, and will invite visitors to become part of the lifesaving work.

*“No kill” is commonly defined as a “save rate” of 90 percent of the dogs and cats entering shelters.

Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 1,800 rescue groups and shelters across the country; regional centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City; and the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Founded in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from 17 million per year to about two million. Best Friends is determined to get that number to zero by the year 2025. Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All.

To become a fan of Best Friends on Facebook, go to Facebook.com/bestfriendsanimalsociety. Follow Best Friends on Twitter (@BestFriends) and Instagram (@BestFriendsAnimalSociety).

Posted in cats, dogs, people helping animals, rescues | 2 Comments